IELTS Speaking part 3 – Overview, topics & tips
The final part in the IELTS Speaking Test is considered to be the most tricky one in which you, test-takers, will need to show not only speaking skill but also the ability to flexibly give answers for the unanticipated questions from the examiner.
1. Introduction to IELTS Speaking Part 3
Notwithstanding the same form as in IELTS Speaking part 1, IELTS Speaking part 3 is likely to push you to the limit of your ability with a number of follow-up questions going in-depth on the topic of the IELTS Speaking part 2.
The discussion in IELTS Speaking part 3 is normally known as “Two-way discussion” or “Details Discussion”. In 4-6 minutes, you will be asked about four to seven questions that virtually stem from the cue card topic of part 2.
This is definitely the chance to show off your fluent and flexible English speaking skill. On that account, feel free to express your opinions, feelings and perspectives on the question given and do not have to worry about the time.
2. Common topics for IELTS Speaking Part 3
No more questions being too personal, IELTS Speaking part 3 requires you to elaborate more difficult questions related to the society, country or the world. Here are some topics that frequently pop up in the IELTS Speaking part 3, with some possible sample questions.
- What makes a good student?
I really think it’s consistent hard work that makes a good student. Some students are naturally smart, but over the long term I think it’s the ones that consistently do good work that end up succeeding. For example, I remember some students from back when I was in school that would stay up late every night trying to perfect whatever assignment they had. They weren’t the smartest bunch but they did well because of their hard work.
- What advantages do universities bring to society? Is it the same in your country?
Universities are the lighthouse of society and they produce enlightened citizens who lead the country. Universities not only educate the youth and prepare them for their future but also carry on important research works that benefit the society as well as the country. For instance, many inventions and medicines that we are familiar with were actually the results of university projects and research. Thus universities serve both the society and the country in numerous ways that have a direct correlation with the overall development of a nation. I am proud to say that universities in my country also play the same role.
- What are some of the important things a candidate should find out before accepting a job?
Well, this is an interesting question. If I were offered a job, I would definitely go through the company’s compensation package such as salary, allowances, maternity or paternity leave, insurance, pension plans, vacations, etc. Also, I’d need to know about my area of responsibilities so that I can make sure that I will not be overwhelmed with heavy workloads down the road.
- Some people say it’s better to work for yourself than to be employed by a company. What’s your opinion?
Well, I used to be a full time employee & felt very stressful. To be specific, most of the time, I had a hectic schedule & was up to ears in heavy workloads to meet deadlines. Therefore, although running my own business is really challenging, I do feel far more comfortable with it.
- What do old people in your country do to keep fit?
Each individual has their own way to keep fit and stay healthy, including senior citizens. In my country, you can easily catch sight of some elders taking a walk early in the morning in the park or on the pavement along the street. Since they are usually early risers, that’s one of the most activities they take part in. Additionally, some old people even join many dancing sessions for the elders to feel more energetic and livelier.
- Do you think young people should play dangerous sports?
I believe youngsters should be well aware of their physical and mental capabilities before deciding to take up any new sports since such activities rarely guarantee that you will never get injured during practice, especially extreme ones. Bungee jumping, skydiving, hang gliding and so many more are not for everyone and everything needs to be taken into account when participating in these sports. Therefore, if you’re up for adventures and well-prepared about what you’re up to, go for it, otherwise, you had better look for another hobby.
- Do most people have a computer at home in your country? What do most people use it for?
Well, to answer this question, I should first mention that the ownership of computers is almost ten times higher in cities than that of villages in my country. Thus most of the families living in a city own at least a computer except for poor people while almost one in twelve families in rural areas have a computer or a laptop.
- How has the internet changed the way we live?
Honestly speaking, the Internet has revolutionised the way we live. Many of us can’t believe how the people in the pre-internet era managed to do all their works at home or at the office! The Internet allows us to work more proficiently at home, work more productively at the office and let us communicate with anyone from the far distance of the world. We make video calls to be in touch with our loved ones, do online shopping, participate in meeting in another city and even drive our cars with the help of the Internet. With this technology, we have amazing access to information and they are just a few mouse clicks away. These days we even do banking online and the need to travel to long distance for ordinary tasks are no longer required. Thus the present era with the spectacular power and blessings of the Internet is truly remarkable.
However, there is a downside to this fabulous technology. Our overreliance on the internet has made us home-centric and we prefer to stay at home rather than going outside and socialising. This is detrimental for our social and personal life that we often fail to realise.
2.5. Media and News
- How do you think people will get their news in the future?
I think technology will change the way we will get and share news in the future. Most people will rely on their handheld devices, that are connected to the Internet, as the primary source of news and information. Traditional newspapers and news channels, on the other hand, will become less popular in the future because of the time lag between when something happens and when readers get the chance to read or view them. Since mobile devices can offer instant updates, they will be a powerful way of getting news updates. Listening to the preferred type of news by using small devices attached to our ears would become more popular and the type of news we would like to listen to shall be determined by our activities and interests.
- How has social media changed the way we get and share the news?
Social media is an excellent tool that connects people and let us share updates, news and information with the people we care. It has made it possible not only to read the news but also to raise our voice and concern. Thus it has made a common platform for ordinary citizens to express themselves and their opinions about the world. Getting and sharing interesting news is easier than ever before.
However, people’s tendency to share news without verifying authenticity has also made it chaotic. For instance, half of the news found on such social media is either fake or fabricated.
2.6. Travel and Transport
- How do you think people will travel in the future?
That’s an interesting question and I will be both realistic and imaginative to answer this. I believe people will prefer to take aeroplanes and speedy trains in the near future to travel long-distance and flights will be cheaper to attract more passengers. Cars would be our constant companion and we would rely on our automobiles more than ever to travel within the city.
After 30 or 40 years, our cars would be able to fly short-distance and even run on the river, much like a science-fiction vehicle. After 50 years or so, we will have flying cars that will take us to our offices and the software instead of human will drive those cars. After a century later, we will have personal pods of SkyTran carrier that would use the airways rather than moving on a road. After a few centuries later, who knows, we might even teleport straight to our destination from our home!
- Should the government in a country focus more on rail transports or road transports? Why?
I believe the decision should be made based on the geological condition, existing infrastructure, population and economic condition of the country. For instance, if a country has mostly hilly tracks and rivers, developing rail tracks is both challenging and expensive. For such countries, connecting highways and road transports are more practical and cost-effective. Moreover, if the country does not have enough rail tracks already, it should focus on developing and enhancing roads rather than rails. Finally, countries with higher population should consider developing their railroads as it can carry a great number of people at a time. Whether to invest in road or rail transportation, thus, should be made based on a number of factors rather than a single one.
- What are parents’ responsibilities for their children?
Primarily, they are responsible for the safety and upbringing of their children. Obviously, it includes a lot of things, such as feeding them, comforting them and looking after them under any circumstances. They need to make sure that their children have everything they need and are well looked after, have opportunities to learn about things, grow up and develop as well-mannered individuals.
- Do young and middle-age people live with old people?
Frankly speaking, unlike in Western countries where it is common to send older grandparents to nursing homes, most people are bound by their duty, which means that they should or, in another sense, have to pay back what their parents have given them. As a consequence, the young generations and middle- aged people tend to share the same house with older people. This can be beneficial since small children can receive special care from their grandparents, obtain invaluable hands-on experience and tend to develop a good code of conduct later on.
- Do you think it’s important that a country is self-sufficient in food?
It is very important for a country to become self-sufficient in food. If a war happens to break out, or relationships between countries turn bad, all trading activities will be halted. Thus, maintaining an amount of food sufficient enough for a country to use for up to 5 years is of great importance in such cases.
- What are the disadvantages of a country producing everything it needs?
The efforts put into producing everything a country needs may end up going to waste. For example, it is impossible to grow kiwis in a tropical climate like Vietnam’s. Thus, however hard governments try to draw scientists’ attention, the likelihood of success of such expensive projects remains low. Not only may such an idea lead to a waste of time, it is also costly and leads to nowhere.
- Why does art help to nurture creativity?
Human beings are not machines. Our brains are not computer hard drives which you can just upload information. I believe humans are creative by nature and art education can help to nurture the creativity that lies within all of us. Art education offers us a break from the traditional way of rote memorization and also cultivates creativity and critical thinking.
- How do you think art classes affect children’s development?
Nobody can deny the effect of music on brain development of babies which is the reason why pregnant women usually let their children listen to instrumental music. It is believed that the right brain will become more developed under the influence of soft and melodic sounds.
Learning arts, especially at a young age, can help stimulate children’s cognitive development and encourage them to think outside the box. Because they’re still little, their ideas are very fresh and lovely, which is worth appreciating.
- Are people concerned about environmental problems in your country?
Well, it’s hard to say for sure. I think some people are concerned but probably not enough of them. There are people who take environmental problems seriously enough to actually recycle their rubbish appropriately but I don’t think there are enough people who concern themselves with resource depletion which I consider to be a pressing issue. So many people are using energy and buying products without any thought to the impact of their actions. We all know that the world’s resources are being used at an alarming rate but no one seems to actually feel it’s their responsibility to change the way they live. So, I guess, although there are some people who are concerned, it’s not enough and more people in my country need to change the way they live.
- What do you think is the main danger the world faces in terms of the environment?
It would have to be global warming, which causes some natural disasters such as flash floods and drought. The problem mainly stems from the enhanced greenhouse effect in recent years. I believe that several steps should be taken to deal with the issue.
>>> Read more: IELTS Speaking Part 1
3. IELTS Speaking Part 3 Tips
Avoid personal answers
IELTS Speaking Part 3 has an inclination to focus more on objective views rather than your personal experience. You should start the answer with your opinion and give illustration or explanation based on the facts or actual knowledge.
For example, with the question: “Do young and middle-age people live with old people?”
You should say: “Frankly speaking, unlike in Western countries where it is common to send older grandparents to nursing homes, most people are bound by their duty, which means that they should or, in another sense, have to pay back what their parents have given them. As a consequence, the young generations and middle- aged people tend to share the same house with older people. This can be beneficial since small children can receive special care from their grandparents, obtain invaluable hands-on experience and tend to develop a good code of conduct later on.”
instead of: “Yes. I’m currently living with my grandparents and I find it rather easy to get along well with each other.”
Don’t forget to give examples for your answers
Along with the informative answers, examples are also needed for clarification of your points.
Keep your progress in a confident state
Don’t panic if you happen to be asked difficult questions or make mistakes. Remember that this is the IELTS Speaking test and the examiner focuses more on your fluency and pronunciation, as well as your vocabulary.
Don’t give the memorised answers
It’s not a good idea to show the examiner how well you remember the answers. They are trained to recognise whether you are adapting to the situation or just giving what you have learned by heart through your speed, intonation, pronunciation, etc. Consequently, try to work on your speaking skills and prepare some ideas for each topic so that you can master the IELTS Speaking part 3.
Don’t try to use so many “fancy” words
If you want to use high-level vocabulary, make sure you know the exact meaning and how to use it in appropriate context, otherwise, your score may be reduced. Besides, trying to use as many fancy words as possible can decrease your fluency.
Make use of a wide range of grammatical structures
Diverse grammatical structures can help you to express your point in various contexts such as using tenses (changes), conditional sentences (wish, hope, suggestions), comparatives and superlatives (compare objects, people), etc.
Hopefully the brief overview, common topics and tips can give you more confidence to cope with the IELTS Speaking Part 3.
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